University Benchmarks

Ranking the Top 100 Academic Universities ranks the universities that attract and produce the best academic students.

There are many 'University Rankings' on the internet. Most rankings rely heavily on subjective metrics like 'reputation' and 'selectivity'. UniversityBenchmarks is purely an academic ranking model. The rankings are based on the reported academic and financial metrics of the colleges. There are no subjective factors like 'reputation' that are used. The calculations are performed using normal statistical models. All universities are considered equal and there is no weighting of the ranking categories.

The university 2014-2015 dataset is comprised of over 2400 US Universities & Colleges and comes from multiple sources using the most favorable reported metrics for a university.

The universities are ranked against each other in each filtered set. It is an iterative process whereby lower ranking universities are removed and the set is re-ranked until the final set of 100 is reached.

Selecting 'Rank Top 10 Only' will show the Top 10 for each filter category ranked against each other.

The academic rankings of the universities within the major conferences (ACC, Big12, Big10, Pac12, SEC) are available.

The 2017 rankings will be available in August.

  • It is possible for universities to be ranked higher/lower than one another depending on the filter set.
  • Conference averages are based on the top 8 schools in the conference.
  • Public Schools are highlighted
  • Clicking on the university's seal icon will take you to the university's website.

Ranking Fields

Rank - Overall rank based on the average of the ranking fields (Scores, Difficulty, Smartest, Brainpower, Faculty and Research).

Scores - SAT & ACT scores. The university's test scores are corrected for dropout rate when score level is Good, Excellent or Elite. This will slightly boost scores for highly competitive schools.

Difficulty - Academic rigor is estimated based on how difficult it is to get an "A" at the university. An estimated GPA at the university is calculated for the average US Student. University grade inflation, average GPA, and STEM density are factors.

Smartest - University that can field the highest scoring students based on the average US University size. Higher Smartest Rank = "Smartest for the Average University"

Brainpower - The average "smartest" rank using 5 reference populations (CalTech, MIT, Stanford, GaTech and Berkeley). Higher Brainpower Rank = "Higher Density of Smart Students". The university ranked higher can mathematically field 'X' number of smarter students than universities ranked below them.

Faculty - Ranking based on number of % of faculty with awards and academy membership.

Research - Ranking is achieved by iteratively ranking the average of 3 research metrics (r-pop, r-stem, r-other ). The lowest ranked college is then removed and the new set is re-ranked. The result is the schools with potentially the strongest research environments per student bubble up to the top regardless of size or research budget.

  • r-pop - Average research spending for student population
  • r-stem - STEM research spending
  • r-other - Other/Medical/Health research spending

Salary ROI - "Salary Return on Investment" is not used in the overall ranking but is provided for additional information. Using the undergraduate average starting and mid-career salaries, the rank is based on a 20yr salary accumulation (with raises) minus the cost of a 4 year education at the university. Salaries are normalized across the country using the average COLA for the university's geo-economic region (7 regions total). The COLA effect is diminished by the level of the university. Elite, Excellent and Good universities have a greater distribution of graduates across the country and a diminishing COLA effect. The resultant value would be the graduate's spending potential over the 20yr period.

Overall ROI - "Overall Return on Investment" is not used in the overall ranking but is provided for additional information. The average of Overall Rank and Salary ROI. This would be the "Best academic bang for the buck". Colleges that produce the best education, at the best price, with the best return will be ranked higher.

Color Key - ranks are colorized as follows 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 50 100

The 2016 University Academic Rankings

State of Arkansas University Academic Rankings

Search :
examples: Yale "Wake Forest" "Big Ten" TX NC

2016 Arkansas University Academic Rankings

2016 Arkansas University Academic Rankings
rank value image public university state conference scores difficulty smartest brainpower faculty research r pop r stem r other salary ROI overall ROI scores value difficulty value smartest value brainpower value faculty value research value salary ROI value overall ROI value scores level stem drop gpa avg research undergrads grads salary price scores valid
PublicUniversity of ArkansasArkansasSoutheastern Conference351111111311675|702.78|301933|811857|77102|661.00|991426896|712.00|981675/1117/25AboveAverage18372.951192183644014720035156True
PrivateHarding UniversityArkansasGreat American Conference363333332421675|702.81|301666|691404|58300|02.67|971277961|643.00|971675/1117/25AboveAverage10352.950448515744070027656True
PrivateHendrix CollegeArkansasSouthern Athletic Association111053333217101790|752.57|361180|491314|55300|02.67|97663986|3310.00|901790/1193/27AboveAverage14252.9501348103190054302True
PublicUniversity of Central ArkansasArkansasSouthland Conference882233332731533|642.88|281712|711464|61300|02.67|971193744|605.50|951533/1022/23Average12562.800984218563930026037True
PrivateJohn Brown UniversityArkansasSooner Athletic Conference2411933332631693|712.78|31985|411158|48300|02.67|971202866|605.50|951693/1128/25AboveAverage10332.95022316194100035706True
PrivateLyon CollegeArkansasAmerican Midwest Conference5212113333216121640|682.66|34880|371010|42300|02.67|97740834|3711.00|891640/1093/25Average30502.80071203190035090True
PublicHenderson State UniversityArkansasGreat American Conference77810333321081538|642.88|281397|581046|44300|02.67|971106674|558.50|921538/1025/23Average14662.80032323953670025744True
PrivateCentral Baptist CollegeArkansasDivision II Independents6313123333213111605|672.77|31810|34961|40300|02.67|97781578|3910.50|901605/1070/24Average16652.80085803190024904True
PublicArkansas State UniversityArkansasSun Belt Conference13134433332561411|593.03|241615|671332|55300|02.67|971240725|626.50|941411/941/21BelowAverage25612.800985732873950026854True
PublicUniversity of Arkansas-Fort SmithArkansasHeartland Conference11126833332251440|603.00|251553|651159|48300|02.67|971476780|746.00|941440/960/22BelowAverage12732.800683004720022685True
PublicArkansas Tech UniversityArkansasGreat American Conference14155633332891325|553.12|221574|661270|53300|02.67|971184275|599.50|911325/883/20BelowAverage16552.800110999034010021970True
PrivateOuachita Baptist UniversityArkansasGreat American Conference9914143333215151510|632.89|28620|26821|34300|02.67|97746034|3713.50|871510/1007/23Average15362.800150103190033790True
PublicUniversity of Arkansas at Little RockArkansasSun Belt Conference151477222229121285|543.09|231504|631182|49129|572.00|981111377|5611.00|891285/857/19BelowAverage100742.8011938422614080032228True
PublicSouthern Arkansas University Main CampusArkansasGreat American Conference11119133333212141440|603.00|251244|52882|37300|02.67|97785822|3913.00|871440/960/22BelowAverage14632.80030365103190023843True
PrivateUniversity of the OzarksArkansasAmerican Southwest Conference1010161533332171470|612.97|26540|23674|28300|02.67|971623093|818.00|921470/980/22BelowAverage9522.80058704900036662True
PublicUniversity of Arkansas at Pine BluffArkansasSouthwestern Athletic Conference171715163333211151186|493.21|20556|23407|17300|02.67|971051924|5313.50|871186/790/18BelowAverage35732.80024011123710022886True
PrivateWilliams Baptist CollegeArkansasAmerican Midwest Conference161617173333214171240|523.20|2080|3235|10300|02.67|97780834|3915.50|851240/827/19BelowAverage4642.80056003190025090True

Common Questions...

What are the best colleges in Arkansas?

1. University of Arkansas

2. Harding University

3. Hendrix College

4. University of Central Arkansas

5. John Brown University

6. Lyon College

7. Henderson State University

2016 Top 10 Arkansas University Academic Rankings

2016 Top 10 Arkansas University Academic Rankings
rank value public name state conference scores difficulty smartest brainpower faculty research salary ROI overall ROI scores level stem drop gpa avg research undergrads grads salary price
12.00PublicUniversity of ArkansasArkansasSoutheastern Conference351111211675/1117/25AboveAverage18372.951192183644014720035156
23.00PrivateHendrix CollegeArkansasSouthern Athletic Association1175221071790/1193/27AboveAverage14252.9501348103190054302
33.17PrivateHarding UniversityArkansasGreat American Conference363322321675/1117/25AboveAverage10352.950448515744070027656
44.17PrivateJohn Brown UniversityArkansasSooner Athletic Conference248722531693/1128/25AboveAverage10332.95022316194100035706
54.40PublicUniversity of Central ArkansasArkansasSouthland Conference882222651533/1022/23Average12562.800984218563930026037
65.40PrivateLyon CollegeArkansasAmerican Midwest Conference529922991640/1093/25Average30502.80071203190035090
76.00PublicHenderson State UniversityArkansasGreat American Conference776822781538/1025/23Average14662.80032323953670025744
76.00PublicArkansas State UniversityArkansasSun Belt Conference10104422451411/941/21BelowAverage25612.800985732873950026854
96.20PrivateCentral Baptist CollegeArkansasDivision II Independents631010228101605/1070/24Average16652.80085803190024904
96.20PublicUniversity of Arkansas-Fort SmithArkansasHeartland Conference995622141440/960/22BelowAverage12732.800683004720022685